Climate change is the change in the global climate patternswhich has recently been attributed by the increased levels of atmosphericcarbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.
It is mainly referred to asanthropogenic climate change as humans are the main cause of this changingclimate. There is a large group ofpeople that vehemently believe that the increase in weather related naturaldisasters is caused by the world’s changing climate. On the other hand, some people believe thatwe are the main cause of the increase in natural disasters because of havevulnerable and underprepared we are towards them and also the fact that that weare building on land that has a high risk of being destroyed by a naturaldisaster.
It is human’s carelessness that is making these disasters worse.It is arguedthat climate change is the defining factor in the increased occurrence ofnatural disasters and most reputable organisations agree with this point.Climate change played a role in14 of 28 storms, droughts, and other 2014 extreme weather events investigatedby global scientists (National Geographic). Recent global industrialisation hasresulted in average worldwide temperatures increasing by 0.
8 degrees Celsius inthe last century (Board of atmospheric sciences and climate). Increasing globaltemperatures will have a detrimental effect on the Earth as it will have manyconsequences that will be wide spread and hard-hitting. This is due to the factclimate change will cause increased risk of droughts, in 2014; climate changeworsened a drought in East Africa and in the Levant region of southern Syria.
There will be increased intensity of storms, especially in mid-latitude areas,such as cyclones and hurricanes with higher wind speeds which will have a moredamaging effect on us. According to NASA, changes in climate will also affectextreme temperatures meaning a greater probability of record hot weatherattributing to the increased likelihood of weather-related natural disasters.Also in 2014, climate change made the heat waves in Australia substantiallymore likely and severe and in South America, human-induced climate change madeArgentina’s heat wave five times more likely. A warming climate will mean more andmore water vapour will evaporate into the atmosphere and it is the keyingredient in storm formation. “If we are creating an atmosphere more loadedwith humidity, any storm that does develop has greater potential to developinto an intense storm,” says Tselioudis. Warming that has already occurredsince 1980 has increased sea surface temperatures 0.3 degrees Celsius, whichshould increase the maximum potential wind speed of hurricanes by at least 1knot, (according to hurricane intensity models). Sea surface temperatures inthe area where Harvey intensified were 0.
5-1C warmer than current-day averagetemperatures, which means 3-5% more moisture in the atmosphere. There are other environmental changesthat could make the storms more deadly. Melting glaciers and ice caps willcause sea levels to rise more and moredramatically over the coming years, which makes coastal flooding more severewhen a storm comes ashore. In their 2001 report, the IPCC stated that sealevels will rise 0.
11 to 0.77 meters by 2100. This is causing there to be moremoisture in the air so severe downpours across the world are becoming morecommon. For example, in Houston they have become 167 percent more frequent inthe past decade (according to vox.com).
It’s not just hurricanes and floodsclimate change are having an impact on, it’s exacerbating wildfires too. InCalifornia, the exceptionally high temperatures caused years of drought whichis left behind a vast amount of dry vegetation. But, last year intense rainfalloccurred leading to the growth very combustible plants. Then what followed thisyear was a period of intense heat, which was California’s hottest summer everrecorded, reaching temperatures of 106 degrees Fahrenheit in downtown SanFrancisco.
The hotter temperatures caused the atmosphere to warm up, the air expandsand can hold more moisture. This pulls more moisture out of plants, creatingdrier conditions earlier in the season. The extremely hot temperatures and thestrong northerly winds led to the devastating wildfires that ripped through thestate. Climate change was the main cause of this wildfire as a study found that”climate change due to human activity accounted for roughly 55 percent of thearidity in Western US forests between 1979 and 2015″ (Dr John Abatzoglou). Thismeans that without climate change the disaster would have only spread half asmuch and would have not caused the devastation that happened.